HP to Acquire Bristol Technology

Through the acquisition, Hewlett-Packard builds out its process monitoring and cross-platform development capabilities.

Hewlett-Packard is continuing to build out its software and solutions management offerings through acquisitions, the latest being the Feb. 5 purchase of Bristol Technology.

Bristol develops two software suites, TransactionVision and Cross-Platform Solutions. TransactionVision lets companies track business process transactions, similar to monitoring packages as they are sent through the overnight delivery process. Cross-Platform Solutions, on the other hand, is development-focused software that helps users port Windows applications to Unix and Linux platforms.

In February 2005, Bristol received a patent for tracking and correlating business transactions. The patent has some 36 claims related to the mechanics of collecting transactional event data and correlating the events into individual business transactions, and it serves as the basis for Bristols TransactionVision, according to Ramin Sayer, director of products at HP, in Palo Alto, Calif.

Some of the key concepts involved in the patent include the use of middleware APIs as trace points for monitoring a distributed transaction across all tiers of the enterprise—a process that doesnt touch the underlying application—and intermiddleware trace point correlation to enable the assembly of trace point events from different middleware technologies into a transaction flow, according to the companys Web site.

Those capabilities, now in TransactionVision, are used to help companies monitor complex business transactions, such as insurance claim processes or inventory management, and are already integrated with HPs Business Availability Center and Universal CMDB (configuration management database) software applications.

The technology also complements HPs $4.5 billion acquisition last summer of Mercury Interactive, a company whose software enables the end-to-end management of business transactions and extends HP Business Availability Center functionality to the mainframe, company officials said.

"For the first time, customers will have a single software vendor that enables them to manage end-to-end business transactions, beginning with end users all the way through custom application and mainframe environments," said Deborah Traub, HPs vice president of products for Management Software.

Bristol is a privately held company that has built up an impressive customer roster in the financial services and insurance industries, including IBM, Deutsche Telekom, American Honda Motor, JPMorgan Chase, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and Bank One.